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How Can You Approach the Subject of Elder Abuse With Your Loved One?

When your loved one moves into a nursing home, you expect that he or she will have the best possible care. Unfortunately, some caregivers break you and your family’s trust with abuse and neglect.

Senior Caring cites that one out of 10 seniors experiences elder abuse. Older adults who have dementia or mental health conditions may be unable to express when abuse occurs. It helps if you can learn how to communicate with him or her in a way that may reveal any neglect or abuse.

Do not ask outright about abuse

Coming out with abuse allegations out of nowhere might make your loved one uncomfortable. Make sure that you and your loved one have privacy to talk to. He or she may be afraid of different staff members. If you can take your loved one off the premises for the talk, it may be more beneficial.

Be strategic about your questions

The topic of abuse is difficult for all of the parties involved. You can avoid being outright about your questions by questioning your loved one’s feelings. For example, if you have suspicions about a certain staff member, ask the resident what he or she feels about that person. Listen to what he or she says without judgment. You want your loved one to feel safe explaining the situation.

Questions to try include:

  • Do you have anything you want to share?
  • How are you doing at home?
  • Do you feel safe?
  • Do you have everything that you need?

If you receive confirmation of abuse, be gentle with your loved one. No patient or resident should feel like they deserved the abuse or feel shame because of it.

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